When the news broke on Saturday night about Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announcing his retirement, there was a wide array of reactions and emotions.
There was shock – Luck is only 29 years old, and you would hope he still has plenty left in the tank for some successful seasons. For Indy fans, there was a bit of anger as they booed him as he walked off the field in the Colts’ preseason game. And of course, there was sadness, that someone that young felt his career needed to come to an early end.
Luck cited being “mentally worn down and now checking out.”
I saw plenty of people making fun of him, and I have to admit that their comments were my first reactions inside. There are moments that all of us feel “mentally worn down” and times when we feel like we’re “checking out” in life. For most of us though, retiring isn’t an option. Stepping away from our jobs isn’t really the answer.
Not everyone is able to do a job that they love, and not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to pursue their passions through their career. I always say that I consider myself really lucky to be one of those fortunate few who truly loves their job.
While that love for my job is deep, that doesn’t mean it’s always a bed of roses. Not every situation is going to be a cakewalk, and not every person I encounter is going to be easy to deal with. There will always be people waiting to steal your joy in the one thing you love to do most and one thing I have learned to remind myself of is that you can’t please everyone.
But my motto has always been that the good outweighs the bad, and I find that coming true over and over again. The friendships I have forged, the awesome kids I have met, and the once in a lifetime kind of moments I have been able to capture more than outweigh the stress or the people who feel like I’m not good enough.
It’s an entirely different situation for Andrew Luck, and he’s also in a different place in his life than the average person.
The average person doesn’t have the means to just simply step back from their job when the going gets rough. The average person also doesn’t work a job that puts their body through the toll that Luck takes each season. Some of his injuries include a partially torn abdomen and a lacerated kidney, injuries that aren’t even that routine in athletes.
The fact of the matter is, he’s 29 years old, and financially, he’s probably set up for the rest of his life. Why continue to play a game that is taking that kind of physical toll on his body and that isn’t bringing him the joy that it once did?
Personally I wish him the best of luck. Not all of us can do what it takes to recover our joy when life brings us down. I hope he finds his happiness, and maybe one day his path will lead him back in some form or fashion to the game he once loved.